I recently reviewed a fascinating documentary which was originally released in the Spring of 2000. It was broadcast on several channels here in Canada, including multiple runs on CBC & Vision Television (the same channel which will be running a documentary of my life's journey later this year - more on that later).
This film, Quest for the Lost Tribes, features colourful director Simcha Jacobovici brandishing Sefer Yeshayahu (the Book of Isaiah) on his epic 4-year Asia-Africa trek to discover the Lost Tribes of Israel. & he found them. Every single one. & it was so easy ;+>
Included in his encounters is a conversation with Mousakhel Pathan - a Taliban organiser - whose famly has always lit oil lamps on Friday nights to ask for blessing & for forgiveness. They have cities of refuge & call themselves Bani Israel. Descendants of Afghan ben Qish ben Sha'ul hamelekh - a grandson of King Saul, where we receive the name Afghanistan.
For supporting media of the latest tribe to be recognised & granted permission to make aliyah, thereby bringing us ever closer to the brink of Messianic Consciousness, check this out. Here are a people who have lived in India on the Burma border (not Myanmar, but that's another story) for countless generations, yet they have Semitic DNA.
I think one of the reasons why this film flies is because what the world identifies as "Jewish" is quite narrow. Even Jews are desensitised to the fact that we can come in every shape & colour after an over 3,500 year history of conversion, intermarriage, rape & wandering amongst the nations. I hear this complaint from Sefardi (Iberian/North African) & Mizrachi (Middle Eastern) Jewish friends of mine all the time. Where did the Exodus occur? Egypt. Where did the Purim story take place? Iraq. My pal Loolwa is an authority on this. Why do we always expect jews to have a classic Ashkenazi look? Why does that image dominate & suffocate other Jewish looks, music, food, prayer, etc?
What has been lost is our sensitivity to things not western. We don't accept other Jews' traditions, or even how they look! Why? Because they don't resemble those of Europeans! Askenazi Judaism is very Europeanised - more that we Ashkenazim are willing to admit (ok, I'm Ashkefard, but you get my drift). I can bet that a couple of milennia ago we weren't all singing the Aleynu to the tune of "Itsy Bitsy Spider"...
I hope that this slow process of co-operative recognition is the beginning of a new beginning for Am Yisra'el (the Jewish People). That in order to realise who we are we have to be blessed with the revelation of what that is.
As for The End of Time - this requires living in a perpetual state of high tension, so start your deep breathing practice now